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This Is Bad News For Nigeria

18 October 2012, 12:00

My heart bleeds for my country as I write this piece! The most recent figure on the rate of unemployment in this country is very worrisome. Seriously, if not urgently attended to, it could portend a serious danger. According to the statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the country’s upholder of vital data, the rate of unemployment has increased to as high as 23.9 percent for the year 2011. The figure for this year would be better imagined because am sure it would be above 25 percent. Terrible!

If this figure is anything to rely on, with my little knowledge of statistics or mathematics, it means that about three (3) out of every seven (7) Nigerians are presently unemployed. Analysis by breaking into parts of the survey of the NBS indicates that the unemployment rise peaked in 20119 (last year) as against the 21.1 percent recorded in 2010 and 19.7 percent in 2009.

The survey indicates that unemployment rate between the years 2006 and 2011 was on average of double figure of 14.6 percent. Obviously, this is a bad news for a country as naturally endowed as Nigeria.

It is even worse news for the government of the day notwithstanding its political claim of job creation, chiefly among the youths and the graduates who form the greater parts of the unemployed group. Is there future for the youths of this country? I just hope so.

Indeed, I believe that this higher figure may not be dissociated from yet another research result which reveals that not three million graduates have entered into the labour market between 2010 and 2011 alone. Well, if this analysis is a true indication of realities on grounds, then it depicts many scenarios.

First and foremost, it could be and indicator that the government policy on job creation has been far from meeting its target. Another school of thought is that our environment (Nigeria) is not conducive (for various reasons ranging from electricity problems to security issues) for employment generation.

Though contestable, this ugly trend could still be an indication that our institutions of higher learning are producing non employable graduates. This is terrible for a country that prides herself as the giant of Africa.

The life expectancy in this country has reached a terrible level where urgent measures have become so necessary. The poverty index in Nigeria has expectedly reached a mind boggling stage and the Nigeria’s Human Development Index is one of the worst in the world at 0.423.

So, excitingly different measures which will trigger the productive sector of the economy are important. A country like Nigeria that has the greater part of its active population unemployed is risking experiencing revolt.

The current NBS official statement confirms this fear of a possible time bomb waiting explosion just as the former president, Olusegun Obasanjo told us that Nigeria was sitting on a keg of gun powder waiting explosion. God please save us! 

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